Poor state of prisons due to mismanagement

Zimbabwe prisoners face terrible conditions

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
3 June 2014

The terrible state of the country’s jails is due to poor management by the top hierarchy of the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS), a former prison officer said on Tuesday.

Shepherd Yuda was a prisons officer who fled the country after he clandestinely shot a video showing how President Mugabe’s ZANU PF party rigged the ballots in the 2008 elections. He called for an overhaul of the country’s prison system to rectify the ‘never ending crisis.’

Last week the deputy commissioner general of the ZPS, Aggrey Machingauta, disclosed that Chikurubi Maximum Security prison has gone for 10 years without running water.

Many other prisons are facing water problems after local authorities and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority disconnected supplies. The ZPS owe the local authorities over $2 million in water bills.

Appearing before the Senate Thematic Committee on Human Rights, Machingauta told legislators that inmates are entitled to clean water and proper sanitation but the prevailing situation in most institutions is appalling.

Yuda said before he fled the country authorities at Chikurubi were already using borehole water. Most senior officers were concerned more about their welfare and that of their families instead of the prisons and their inmates.

‘You need to drill boreholes and connect them to an industrial generator and that can pump water into the whole Chikurubi complex. But the little money they get from treasury is all used to buy top of the range and luxury vehicles for the senior officers,’ Yuda added.

The country has roughly 35,000 people incarcerated in 42 jails, but this is well over their intended capacity of about 17,000 inmates. The inmates include 80 juveniles, 308 women and 29 babies who are staying with their mothers.

Yuda explained that there was need to build special facilities that cater for women prisoners who have babies and prevent a situation where toddlers contract diseases from the filthy cells they are held in with their mothers.

4 Responsesto “Poor state of prisons due to mismanagement”

  1. wilbert says:

    Yah, but for the love of God; there goes me!

    • stephen says:

      of it is sanctions causing all the problems in the prisons. If the sanctions weren’t in place the gaols would have enough money for not only luxury cars for the staff but food for the prisoners. remove the sanctions and the prisoners get fed.

      • wilbert says:

        So the prisoners are being punished because the West imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle. It is clear that there is still enough money to buy the luxuries for the chefs and to pay for $1 million birthday parties and $10 million weddings but there is no money to feed prisoners and buy medicines to treat children!

        By the way the Mugare regime has no money to repair water pipes so that key institutions like Chikurumbi Prison can finally have running water after ten years without running water but it has money to recruit 11 000 more prison Officers. Having failed to address the nation’s most basic needs the regime is fearful the people will be crying louder from their increased suffering and it is gearing itself to use even more brutal force to silence them.

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